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About the course

Looking to start a career in music and sound production? Whatever your background, Solent University’s popular music production programme will enable you to deepen your skills in a wide range of areas – preparing you for a fantastic career as a music producer of the future.

Our music courses ranked 15th out of 66 other UK institutions for student satisfaction (National Student Survey 2019).

The course explores three main areas of study: technical and musical foundations, music and sound production in studio and live settings, and employability in the music industry. These varied subjects enable you to gain a broad understanding of the industry, so when you graduate you’ll be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to kick-start your career.

Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to use a range of facilities including our specialist recording studios – each with top of the range software, facilities and instruments including: Pro Tools Ultimate and Logic digital audio workstations, Microphones by Neumann, AKG and Shure. Analog processing includes Neve, Universal Audio, Focusrite, Empirical Labs, and Portico. Instruments provided included Drums by DW and Mapex, a Moog Synthesiser, Korg Kronos, Marshall, Fender and Vox valve guitar amplifiers. Software includes Native Instruments Komplete, and Plugins by Sonnox, McDSP and Celemony.  Live sound mixers include Allen and Heath DLive, Soundcraft Si, and Midas M32.

Thanks to the academic teams close links with industry, you will have the opportunity to attend guest lectures from visiting industry professionals. Speakers have recently included: Mike Moran, composer; Trevor Horn, Grammy award-winning producer; Sam Skirrow, Bass player; Rob Da Bank, DJ and festival organiser; Gary Langhan, sound engineer; and Mark Lawrence, CEO of The Association for Electronic Music.

As a popular music production student you’ll also have the chance to visit the legendary Abbey Road studios, probably the most famous studio in the world, and talk to engineers at the top of the industry during a real recording session.

You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course.
Study abroad
If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years.
Foundation year available
You have the opportunity to obtain a professional membership as part of this degree.
Professional memberships
This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year.
Top-up option

Solent provides a creative hub where students can meet film makers, animators, game designers, musicians, and video video producers and work on combined projects.

What does this course lead to?

Recent graduates have gone on to work in diverse areas such as live sound, game audio, recording studios, film and television sound, and technical support – working at organisations such as Bang Post-Production, Sony Music, Envy Post-Production, Global Documentary, Columbia Records, Metropolis Studios, EMI Music Licensing and Stage Miracles. 

Who is this course for?

Solent’s music production programme is ideally suited to students who want to combine that unique mix of technical and musical skills, while developing an understanding of the industries that await them. Applicants should previously have studied music technology or a related subject, or be able to demonstrate some music making experience.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £13,800 per year

Following the UK government's confirmation that EU students will no longer be eligible for home fee status benefits, we've made the decision to keep EU tuition fees the same as UK tuition fees for 2021 entry.

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

The 2021/22 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:

Compulsory costs
You will be required to purchase a pair of good quality headphones, which cost between £40 and £150.

Optional costs
Optional trips to music performances are based on ticket prices and current transport costs.

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

96 - 112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DM or equivalent qualification, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 96 UCAS points.
  • Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Foundation Year in Popular Music.

If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 20 in each individual component
  • Duolingo English Language Test - 100 overall with minimum of 90 in each component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

Pre-Sessional English programme

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Solent team:

If you are a UK, EU or EEA applicant please contact 023 8201 5066 If you are an international applicant please contact 023 8201 5066

How to apply

Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by 15 January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until the end of June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Please click the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Full-time  3 years  Apply 

Popular Music Production Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Full-time  4 years  Apply 
Top-up route:

We welcome applications from students currently studying a Foundation Degree, DipHE, HNC, HND or modules of an undergraduate degree course at another university, who wish to enter directly into Years 2 or 3 of one of our undergraduate degree courses. Please contact our admissions team for more information: contact us

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules
  • Principles of Sound
    This module provides a grounding in how sound behaves both acoustically, and when represented by electrical or digital means. An understanding of core concepts introduced here will benefit you in all music and sound related pursuits.
  • Introduction to Studio Recording 1
    This module combines practical mixing and recording with the established and proven theories of how multitrack music is made.
  • Principles of Music
    Practically all music contains structures and patterns which are readily communicated as a musical language. This module demystifies that language enabling you to understand existing music more deeply, and to communicate musical matters more clearly.
  • Introduction to Studio Recording 2
    You will experience the challenges of recording a full band of musicians. You will also get the chance to continue developing your mixing skills, and to reflect on your project work.
  • Creative Music Industries
    Key aspects of creativity, from songwriting and promotion, through to audiences and consumption are discussed and explained to enable you to understand the demands of the music industries. 
  • Sampling Synthesis and Midi
    This module explores some of the fundamental concepts in electronic sound synthesis, and how MIDI relates to the contemporary Digital Audio Workstation.

Year two

Core modules
  • Advanced Studio Recording 1
    You will learn to understand mix techniques and methods at a higher level to help you craft more engaging, lasting mixes. 
  • Advanced Studio Recording 2
    The complex mix of technical and creative skills makes music production a unique challenge. In this module you will explore how those seemingly different skillsets combine and complement each other. 
  • Creative Sound Design
    In this module you will expand your musical thinking into the world of film sound design. Whether through music or sound effects, films rely heavily on sound added post production; this module gives you the chance to develop skills required for sound in visual media.
  • Live Music Production 
    The live music sector provides significant employment opportunities in many different areas. In this module you experience the thrill of working in a live event team on your own themed music event in real city venue.  
  • Music Portfolio Careers
    In this module through research and enquiry, supported by the music team, you will investigate the many and varied income streams available to you.  


  • Advanced Live Music Production
    This module explores the advanced elements required for successful live music productions and further explores advanced live music production scenarios.
  • Music and Sound for Games
    In the module, you will consider composition within an interactive sonic background and create and/or edit sound effects for video games using industry standard software.

Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.

Year three

Core modules
  • Major Project
    In this module you will undertake a major research project in an area of your choosing. It may take a variety of forms and is negotiated with support and feedback from module tutors who will discuss and approve project proposals.
  • Advanced Music Production
    As well as advanced production techniques such as mastering, this module will examine how you can solve practical production problems and present your findings in a video or interactive format designed to train others.
  • Live Project Brief
    Freelance work forms the basis of much of our industry, yet many clients are reluctant to take a chance on new sound engineers or producers. This module helps you get a freelance client as a first step in building your portfolio of clients.


  • Surround Mixing
    You will experience recent and emerging technological developments including 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Atmos. The issues in mixing music and film sound will be examined and you will learn how to achieve effective mixes in these formats.
  • Live Event Technology
    You will obtain an appreciation of the many factors that need to be accounted for in putting on live events, and will be able to select tools and techniques appropriate to a variety of contexts, setups and situations encountered.
  • Live Sound Technology
    You will obtain from this module an appreciation of the many factors that need to be accounted for in specifying, configuring and operating professional sound reinforcement systems, and you will be able to select tools and techniques appropriate to a variety of contexts, setups and situations encountered.
  • Experimental Music Production
    The module develops and enhances student skills in music production by exploring the creative manipulation of sound, and alternative approaches to music making. If you want to challenge the usual habits and conventions in music production, this module will guide and inspire you.

Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Students' work

Meet the course team

Toni Diaz academic profile Toni Diaz Course Leader View profile
Phil Durrant academic profile Phil Durrant Associate Lecturer View profile
Matthew Hickling academic profile Matthew Hickling Technician Instructor View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


Solent’s recording studios are state-of-the-art, and include Pro Tools Ultimate and Logic digital audio workstations. Microphones by Neumann, AKG and Shure. Analog processing includes Neve, Universal Audio, Focusrite, Empirical Labs, and Portico. Instruments provided included Drums by DW and Mapex, a Moog Synthesiser, Korg Kronos, Marshall, Fender and Vox valve guitar amplifiers. Software includes Native Instruments Komplete, and Plugins by Sonnox, McDSP and Celemony.  Live sound mixers include Allen and Heath DLive, Soundcraft Si, and Midas M32.

Solent is home to world class facilities, including a fully accredited Dolby Atmos cinema and multiple recording studios. Students learn from a team with wide industry and academic experience.

Your future

Students from Solent’s music production programme will be well prepared for a wide range of graduate level employment opportunities. Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Music producer
  • Live sound engineer
  • Mix engineer
  • Film sound editor
  • Game sound designer
  • Events organiser
  • Music publishing
  • Arts administrator
  • Music technician
  • Music and sound entrepreneur
  • Music education
  • Postgraduate study

Industry links

During your studies you will have the chance to work with local clients to develop your skills further, these clients have recently included the Joiners Live venue and BBC Introducing.

The entire guest speaker programme at Solent is also open to you, providing a wealth of advice from industry professionals. Recent speakers have included:

  • Andrew Scheps, mix engineer for Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Nina Hartstone, dialog editor, Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Colin Lester, manager for Craig David
  • Tudor Davies, sound engineer for Later with Jools Holland.


All students will be required to source a freelance client in the final year as part of the core unit ‘Live Project Brief’. You will also be encouraged to undertake work experience throughout the course in areas such as studio, sound, film or gaming.

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day